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Google Plus, Serious Potential For Education

| July 12, 2011 | 7 Replies

I have been using Google Plus (g+, G+, or Google+) for some time now ( find me directly on G+ here).   It is quite impressive for a start-up social network and is already light-years ahead of where Google’s Google Wave started…   It has incredible potential to be used as an educational social networking platform and for professional development.    Like anything new, it will take some time to learn about this fresh network offering and for  people to “cross-over” to it.

In order to facilitate the development of Google Plus skills, I’ve created this post (a cheat sheet of sorts) that contains brief G+ terminology explanations and a number of quick “tips” and interesting related-resources that I’ve discovered along my own G+ learning journey …

Google Plus Cheat-sheet (Google Plus 101):


Sign up for it here:

http://plus.google.com

Google Plus Lingo:

Google Plus Circles:

G+ allows you to organize your “friends” into various groups by including them into user-created circles.    For instance, you may create any number of circles: colleagues, high school friends, business associates, college peers, etc., and you may assign “friends” to be in one or more of each of the circles.   Every time that you post something, you may choose to share it with a particular circle, multiple circles, or the “public” circle (everyone).

Google Plus Hangouts:

G+ allows for the online collaboration with up to ten different people using video cams.   Each hangout is given a particular URL that can be shared via G+ or any other means for people to join in on the conversation.

Google Plus Huddle:

G+ makes it easy to have a group chat with a particular circle using this feature.  Rather than texting/messaging each person in a group individually, you may “group text” everyone within a particular circle.   (Note: this is still in development and will be widely available when the mobile/smartphone versions of G+ are available -the Android mobile version is  available as of this posting).

Google Plus Sparks: 

G+ basically allows you to search for topics of interest to share with others and calls these “sparks” – with the idea of “sparking” a conversation about any given topic.

Styling a G+ update:

Updates can be stylized as they are entered by using the following conventions:

  • italic text: use the _ character ~example- _italic_
  • bold text: use the * character ~example- *bold*
  • strikethrough text: use the – character ~ example- -strikethrough-
  • italic and bold: use both the _ and * characters ~example- _*italic bold*_

Useful G+ shortcuts:

  • Use the @ and + symbols in front of a “friend” to include them when composing an update:  @pisanojm or +pisanojm -for example
  • Move “up” or “down” a page by pressing the <space bar> or <shift> + <space bar> keys
  • Scroll to the next person’s update by pressing the <j> or <k> keys (next and previous)
  • Press the <q> key to go directly to the chat-box to enter names or search for people to chat with
  • To quickly submit an update press <tab> then <enter> while composing an update for your stream(s)

G+ Privacy options:

G+ has fantastic privacy options.  The privacy options are arguably one of the areas that it “shines the brightest” with right now.   Below are just some of the privacy options available:
  • You may limit who sees your post by only selecting only the circle(s) that you want it to be available to
  • You may send a direct message (DM) by entering a friend’s  G+ name (remember to remove any “circles” or the “public” button if they are listed BEFORE you post it!)
  • You may limit the ability for an update to be “re-shared” by first posting an update, then clicking the drop-down arrow in the upper-right of the new post.   From there, select “Disable reshare”.   Your update will now NOT be able to be reshared with others G+ users (other than those you originally shared with)
Fantastic g+ online resources that I’ve discovered for further reading and exploration:
  1. The google plus cheat sheet
  2. Google’s official plus site information
  3. Google’s official plus help forum
  4. A collaborative G+ user’s manual
  5. g+ guide to privacy settings
  6. How to: make a G+ desktop app
  7. How to: import your Facebook contacts into G+ 
  8. How to: move your Facebook and Picasa photos to G+
  9. Get your G+ short URL name
  10. Take the Official  G+ tour
YouTube videos from the collaborative g+ user’s manual above:
  1. YouTube: Google+ A quick look ~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwnJ5Bl4kLI
  2. YouTube: Google + Circles ~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeMZP-oyOII&feature=relmfu
  3. YouTube: Google+ Sparks ~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRkAdTflltc&feature=relmfu
  4. YouTube: Google+ Hangouts ~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tku1vJeuzH4&feature=relmfu
  5. YouTube: Google+ Huddles ~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iA22daAstNg
Again, you may find me on Google+ here:

http://gplus.to/pisanojm

Please feel free to add your own resources and Google+ tips in the comment section below.

P.S.  If you are a music educator and plus member, you may find the very first music educator’s  Google+ list to follow right here!

email

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About the Author ()

Joseph M. Pisano, Ph.D. is the creator of many education websites, lecturer, clinician, trumpeter, and conductor. He is currently the Associate Chair of Music and Fine Arts at Grove City College, PA and the Vice President of TI:ME. He also writes for DCI Magazine, In-Tune Monthly and has contributed hundreds of articles to various publications. Find out more at his website jpisano.com.
  • Brad Steigerwalt

    This was great. I wish that I could have +1′d this

  • http://www.musicmakersmusings.com TK Goforth

    Thank you for this post, Dr. Pisano!  I’m looking forward to delving into G+ and think it’s got a lot of potential!

  • http://www.mustech.net/ Dr. J. Pisano

    Thank you and thank you for taking the time to comment!

  • http://www.mustech.net/ Dr. J. Pisano

    You can! -at the top of the post. :) and thanks!

  • Varden Armstrong

    Thanks Joe, I’ve always been distanced from facebook, but am really impressed with the privacy settings of G +. I’m looking forward to exploring this new option.

  • Brad Steigerwalt

    Ok.  So, the “+1″ option wasn’t showing up on the mobile form of the musictech net.  I feel slightly embarrassed. 

    Oh, and I’ve sent plenty of non-music people to this article.  Especially if they are confused with Circles.  I especially like the resources at the end!

  • Pingback: Google + is now being used for education!!!!! « gcdrmgroupe

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